February 14th - It's Valentine's Day!
And this year it falls on a ... Monday.
Not the most romantic day of the week (not to mention the hardest one to get through), so maybe this year it's time to celebrate Valentine's - even if you normally don't.
So grab a friend, a loved one or your spouse and make the most of a free hug and these eco-friendly ideas.
Valentine's Day isn't known for being environmentally conscious; it's normally doused in glitter, single-use gifts (that no-one wants) and red socks covered in cupids that you only wear once.
So, instead of shopping for last-minute gifts, why not try some of these planet friendly ideas instead.
1. Meat-Free Monday
Made famous by the McCartney family why not prepare a meat-free meal for you and your chosen Valentine. Cutting meat from your diet for just one day, and choosing to be vegan instead, will reduce your daily CO2 output by 4kg!! In fact, if you kept it up, being vegan for a whole year would shrink your carbon footprint by 60%!
Tofu, beans, peas and nuts have the lowest carbon footprints of all plant-based proteins, so it seems to me that an asian inspired meal, like Green Thai curry could be on the menu!
Here are some recipes to get you inspired:
Hold down your volume control and power button at the same time - and you can shut your iphone off... genius. Then turn the TV off and switch off all the lights - because it's time for candles and some good old fashioned conversation.
Not just romantic, but turning off just 1 light bulb saves you 1.2cents an hour - so you'll be pennies in by the end of the night. Terrible for leaving lights on when you aren't in the room? Turning off your living room and bedroom lights for a month will save you almost $10.
With the extra dollars you can invest in some soy-based, hand poured candles. Here are some suggestions from North Carolina, but check out your local market and stores for local makers near you.
Light is Love Candles - Raleigh, NC
Bridgeway Scented Market - Maysville, NC
Pretty Honest Candles - Charlotte, NC
3. Gifts that last
More than 23 million!! gifts are sent to landfill after Christmas in the UK alone. That's 1 in 5 unwanted gifts not lasting longer than the holiday season. And you can expect that number to explode if calculated for the global population.
As for Valentine's Day, well it's one of the biggest gift-giving dates in the year, so we can expect it to be having a big (negative) impact too. So, what gifts have a lasting, positive impact?
1. A donation to a charity that's close to your loved ones heart
2. An IOU voucher book (hand-crafted) of course, with free dog-walks, babysitting or maybe more free cuddles.
3. Matching Teddy Locks socks...